This post contains affiliate links.
Summer vacation season is in full swing for many of us. Some of you may be heading to the beach or perhaps the mountains. While others, may be heading to my absolute favorite vacation spot — Walt Disney World! After attending the Disney Social Media Moms On The Road Celebration in Philly recently, I was inspired to write a little more in my blog about my favorite place in the whole wide world!
I am by no means an expert but have been there enough times over the years to know a thing or two about the “Happiest Place on Earth.” I always say to my husband that going to Disney is not a vacation but rather an adventure. We tend to be on the go from morning ’til night. No rest for the weary. We’re in Disney after all.
So what should you pack in your “park” backpack? By “park” backpack, I mean the backpack that you will carry around with you each day you visit the park, not your airplane carry on. The key to packing the perfect backpack is to pack the important essentials and not weigh it down with everything but the kitchen sink. You don’t want your bag to be too heavy because your arms and shoulders will get tired.
Let start with the backpack first. I needs to be not too big and not too small but just right. The bag I used when we visited in March was 12″ W x 15″ L It was perfect and had just the right amount of compartments.
You have to remember that you bag will be checked by park security before you enter so be cautious of a million zippers and pockets. They will need to be opened.
Pack The Perfect Walt Disney World Backpack!
Here is my list of in-park essentials for your backpack:
- A SMALL wallet It should be able to fit cash, park tickets if you don’t have Magic Bands, a credit card or two and your ID or drivers license. You don’t need to bring your Victoria’s Secret credit card or library card. (I used this Vera Bradley Smartphone Wristlet and it was the perfect size!).
- Cell Phone, charger and portable battery charger. Trust me, if you are anything like me, I am snapping, Instagramming, Tweeting and Facebooking all at the same time to capture those vacation memories. Your battery will be used up quickly if you are using your phone constantly. I use the RAVPower External Battery Pack Power Bank
and I love it. It’s is powerful enough so I can charge 2 devices at once, if needed.
- Sunscreen & Lip Balm. You’re in Florida and it gets really hot. Enough said! I pack my sunscreen in a gallon size Ziploc™ bag just in case it pops open in my bag. Then, I will not have a big mess.
- Camera. I love to take pictures! So yes, I am one of those people who still carries a camera even though my iPhone takes nice pictures. You can eliminate this one if you are happy using your cell phone. This Sony Digital Camera takes excellent photos and videos!
- Snacks. We all get hungry but snacks in the parks can be on the expensive side. Granola bars, Gold Fish, pretzels are all good to pack. If you have access to fresh fruit and your hotel, you can include an apple or banana too and stick that in your backpack as well.
- Hand Sanitizer & Travel Size Wipes. I like to stick a travel size hand sanitizer and wipe packet in with my sunscreen bag too just in case the cap pops off. My family likes to snack our way through the parks so these are great to clean up with.
- Water Bottle. You’re in Florida and it gets really hot. Wait, I said that already. Again, buying bottled water in the park is expensive. However, each food kiosk will give you a free cup of water in which you can fill up your water bottle. I like the Brita Sport Water Filter Bottle with the built-in filter.
- Hat & Sunglasses. I can’t live without my sunglasses. I’m not much of a hat person but the sun’s rays can be brutal so a hat is also a great idea to protect your face and head.
- Rain Poncho.Typical Florida weather calls for a pop-up shower around 3 p.m. everyday. True fact. Be prepared so you don’t get drenched it a shower does occur. It’s no fun walking around in wet clothes. I always bring ours but you can purchase them in the park as well if needed.
- Autograph Book & Pen/Marker. If you have younger children, this is a must. You can’t pass up the opportunity for a photo opp and autograph session with your favorite character. I still bring mine!
- First Aid Essentials. Yes, there are first aid stations located throughout each park, but having band aids, Tylenol or ibuprofen and gauze in your backpack is so much easier. I pack all our first aid essentials (band aids, pain reliever, gauze) in a small sandwich size Ziploc™ bag.
- Extra quart size or gallon size bags. Just in case you need to protect your electronics or wallet if you go on the water rides.
- Paper copies of your Fast Pass+ reservations and any Disney Dining reservation. You can access these on the My Disney Experience app but I like the paper confirmation as back-up just in case something happens to my phone.
- Park Maps. Even though I can access all the park information on my phone and I pretty much know the layout of each park by heart, I still like the paper maps. They are so easy to whip out and view. Plus, they are fun to look at. Grab a copy at the entrances or at various kiosks throughout the park. They are easy to find. You can also view them on the Disney Parks Website by clicking here.
- Breath mints and gum. Sometimes we all need to freshen our breath. Especially after we have eaten our way around the World Showcase in Epcot. Gum is not sold an any of the parks, so if you like to gum, you need to bring your own.
- Lightweight Sweatshirt. This is an optional item depending on the time of year you visit. It does cool down at night so you may want to have one handy.
- A lot of people I know swear by these water mist bottle fans, especially during the summer months. They are a perfect way to cool off from the hot Florida heat.
I hope you find this list helpful. Having everything you need at various times throughout the day will make your vacation more enjoyable and cost-effective. Afterall, you don’t want to take away from all the magic and pixie dust by not having one of the in-park essentials I listed.
I hope you make many magical memories on your next Disney vacation. When is your favorite time of year to visit? I can’t wait until we visit again.